I am upstairs. The boys are downstairs. I can just imagine what will greet me when I descend into the pit of destruction that they will have created in my brief absence. I suspect my sons may possess a special talent for mess making never before witnessed in a civilised(ish) household.
This morning the twins played in our dining room cum playroom for all of half and hour, and by the time they were finished the entire floor was obscured by a mass of discarded toys. They then moved upstairs to continue their work and had soon emptied all the toy storage in their bedroom transforming the carpet into a plastic jungle.
Lunch time didn't stop them in their tracks. As soon as they had eaten their fill they began to dismantle the leftover sandwiches, mushing them into super sticky globs of food and lobbing them across the room, under their chairs and at each other. It was scene of devastation when I scraped them clean for the only period of time that they aren't making a mess - their nap.
Though I say they don't make a mess, but that's not strictly true. Every time I go in to wake them up all the toys from their cots are strewn across the floor with gay abandon, any blankets or socks are stuffed between the cots or down the side of the mattress, and if they have a messy nappy then more often than not its unmentionable contents will be adorning their once clean sheets.
I think it must be genetic though, as their big brothers aren't much better. They are quite brilliant at getting toys out, yet borderline moronic when it comes to putting them away again. They will drag out board games, Playmobile, DVDs, Lego, felt tips and toy cars and spread them in a thin, yet strangely painful when met with a bare foot, layer around the house.
I was amazed when a friend moved to Oz recently and she handed over some old toys to another friend who has just had a new baby, not by her generosity, but by the fact that she still had all the parts. Toys come into our house to be dismembered. I don't think we own a single set or game that retains all its constituent parts.
When my first son was little I used to diligently collect together all the bits and bobs of each toy and keep them all together in labelled boxes. Then one day he emptied all his worldly possessions onto the carpet and mixed them around like some deranged witch stirring her cauldron.
It was carnage. Mr Potato Head lost an eye, several jigsaws ended up missing vital organs in the chaos while I Operation's heart was broken for good. After that I kind of gave up and allowed my boys to surf on a tide of mess, just so long as it was all shoved into boxes and bags under the bed at the end of the day.
Now my eldest son's midsleeper bed is held up by a mountain of broken toys and the remains of dressing up costumes, as well as the sheafs of leaflets he insists on picking up wherever we go. While son number two is often mislaid whilst burrowing under his own bed in search of some long lost play thing.
As if to prove my point I must sign off now as my boys have just yelled up the stairs that twin two has been very naughty and has emptied an entire tissue box all over the living room....